Leeway given to those who fail LEAP test

Students in Lafayette Parish who don't pass the LEAP test now have another option on the table, allowing them to move forward to the next grade.

Under the new terms first-time fourth graders who don't pass LEAP have to demonstrate readiness to go on to the fifth grade. They'll have to retest and attend summer school. First-time eighth graders who don't pass will be placed in a “transitional” ninth grade class the following year after they retest and attend summer school. But they would still graduate a year later than if they had passed.

With common core standards being implemented, this provision is thought to help students adjust to the changes without punishing them. But school board member Mark Babineaux, who voted against the measure, says it's sending the wrong message. Babineaux says it does absolutely nothing to improve student performance. It's unfair to those students who do the work.

Babineaux goes on to say he thinks it's also unfair to teachers who put in hours upon hours of time developing procedures and helping students pass the LEAP test. The new policy change takes effect immediately and was approved by the Lafayette Parish School Board,5-4.

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